The Arsenal star to miss seven matches if £34m deal falls through – but on one condition

The Arsenal star to miss seven matches if £34m deal falls through – but on one condition

Prior to reshaping Arsenal’s midfield this summer, Mikel Arteta and Edu should consider the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The competition is scheduled to take place in Ivory Coast between January 13th and February 11th, 2024, and Egypt is among the nations that have already qualified.

Due to the fact that Egypt will be regarded as one of the favorites to win the tournament, it is likely that they will be involved in the latter stages.

Therefore, Mohamed Elneny, presuming he is named to the squad, could miss up to a month of action for the Gunners during the second half of next season.

And the same may very well hold true for Thomas Partey, but only if Ghana qualify, which they will if they avoid defeat against Central African Republic in September.

In the event that both players are called up by their respective national teams for the tournament in January and reach the final, the Premier League games they will miss for Arsenal are against Crystal Palace (h), Nottingham Forest (a), Liverpool (h), and West Ham United (a).

Partey and Elneny would be available for selection for the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, which takes place the week beginning January 8, but possibly not for the second leg, which takes place the week beginning January 22 if the Gunners are involved at this stage next season.

Moreover, the north London club enters the FA Cup in the third round, which is scheduled for the weekend of January 6, enabling the aforementioned duo to participate. However, Arteta’s squad’s chances of advancing to the fourth round, scheduled for January 27, are slim.

It remains to be seen whether Partey will even be an Arsenal player by the time the Africa Cup of Nations begins, as he has been heavily linked with an exit this summer amid links to Serie A giants Juventus and interest from several Saudi Arabian clubs who are reportedly willing to pay up to €40 million (£34.4 million) for his services.

Now, if the 30-year-old stays put and is called up for Africa Cup of Nations duty alongside Elneny, this would leave Arsenal with only Jorginho – and potentially Declan Rice – as their senior options in the deep-lying midfield position for a month that includes four Premier League matches, one FA Cup match, and two Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Granit Xhaka is expected to sign for Bayer Leverkusen in a £13 million deal, while Albert Sambi Lokonga has been linked with a loan transfer to Burnley, where he would be reunited with Vincent Kompany, under whom he played at Anderlecht.

Therefore, if Arteta and Edu complete an overhaul of Arsenal’s midfield this summer, they must ensure they have adequate cover for Partey if a transfer does not materialize, as he will almost certainly miss a month at the start of next season, and he would need to be replaced if sold to prevent a crisis in early 2024.

The Arsenal star to miss seven matches if £34m deal falls through – but on one condition